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MPs participate in Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly

New Zealand MPs participate in Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly

11 March 2014

A New Zealand delegation, led by Hon Tau Henare MP, will participate in the 130th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 16 - 20 March, Speaker Rt Hon David Carter announced today.

The IPU is the world organisation of parliaments of sovereign states and provides a focal point for dialogue. Over 1,300 delegates and observers from more than 120 member parliaments and international organisations will be attending the Assembly. The other members of the delegation are Sue Moroney MP and Dr Kennedy Graham MP.

This is a particularly significant Assembly, as the IPU Governing Council will elect a new Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to succeed Mr Anders B Johnsson who has held the post for four terms.

“I am pleased that the New Zealand Parliament will be able to participate in the election”, says Rt Hon David Carter, Speaker of the House of representatives. “The Secretary-General plays a pivotal role in strategic direction of the IPU and the development of its programme to strengthen parliaments and promote democracy. Participation at the Assembly, and in the selection of its Secretary-General, ensures that the New Zealand and Pacific region perspective on the many issues facing the international community is heard and included on the programme of the IPU.”

The Assembly agenda includes panel discussions and workshops on issues relating to parliaments’ role in nuclear disarmament; risk-resilient development; and the role of parliaments in protecting the rights of children, in particular unaccompanied migrant children, and in preventing their exploitation in situations of war and conflict.

Hon Tau Henare is a member of the IPU’s Committee on Middle East Questions, which will meet to facilitate and support parliamentary diplomacy in Israel and Palestine. Meetings of women and young parliamentarians will also be held, to discuss and develop mechanisms for ensuring diversity and representativeness.

ENDS

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